Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) Receives Consensus Rating of “Buy” from Brokerages

Shares of Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) have received a consensus rating of “Buy” from the fifteen ratings firms that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $71.31.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on CNC. Deutsche Bank dropped their price target on Centene from $62.00 to $60.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Centene from $64.00 to $62.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 26th. Zacks Investment Research cut Centene from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $50.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, October 18th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Centene from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, December 16th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Centene from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd.

Shares of CNC traded down $0.59 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $64.54. The company had a trading volume of 3,427,988 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,845,417. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.01. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $61.73 and a 200 day moving average price of $52.67. Centene has a 52 week low of $41.62 and a 52 week high of $69.25. The company has a market capitalization of $26.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 0.91.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The company reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.01. Centene had a return on equity of 15.54% and a net margin of 1.87%. The firm had revenue of $18.98 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $18.39 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.79 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that Centene will post 4.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Jesse N. Hunter sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total value of $1,200,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert K. Ditmore sold 49,019 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.01, for a total value of $2,451,440.19. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 285,519 shares of company stock worth $16,416,060 over the last ninety days. 2.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Centene by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 42,806,796 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,244,788,000 after acquiring an additional 539,794 shares in the last quarter. Viking Global Investors LP raised its stake in Centene by 233.3% during the 2nd quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 13,994,550 shares of the company’s stock valued at $733,874,000 after buying an additional 9,795,824 shares during the last quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. raised its stake in Centene by 18.3% during the 3rd quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. now owns 7,244,461 shares of the company’s stock valued at $313,395,000 after buying an additional 1,121,153 shares during the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. raised its stake in Centene by 91.2% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 6,368,307 shares of the company’s stock valued at $333,956,000 after buying an additional 3,037,351 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners raised its stake in Centene by 111.8% during the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 4,976,011 shares of the company’s stock valued at $260,985,000 after buying an additional 2,626,873 shares during the last quarter. 97.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Centene Company Profile

Centene Corporation operates as a diversified and multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. The company's Managed Care segment offers health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State children's health insurance program, long-term services and support, foster care, and medicare-medicaid plans, which covers dually eligible individuals, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs.

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Analyst Recommendations for Centene (NYSE:CNC)

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